Browns vs. Broncos: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Cleveland

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Browns vs. Broncos: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Cleveland

The Cleveland Browns (5-10) lost to the Denver Broncos (12-3) by a 34-12 margin in their Week 16 NFL matchup in Denver.

The Broncos won their 10th-straight game while the Browns record their second-consecutive loss as a result of this one.

It marks the fourth-straight double-digit loss season for the Browns. In 2007-08, the Browns finished 10-6 but failed to reach the postseason.

Denver easily marched down the field and completed an eight play, 80-yard opening drive that ended with a 22-yard TD connection between Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas.

Brandon Weeden and the Browns struck back on their first possession but that drive stalled in the end zone. Phil Dawson came in and chipped in a 27-yard field goal to bring the Browns within four points.

Denver's second drive took a little longer but the result was the same. Manning found Eric Decker in the back of the end zone to add to the Broncos' advantage, making it a 14-3 game early in the second quarter.

Cleveland got the ball first in the second half and moved down the field with the help of a questionable 15-yard penalty on the Champ Bailey for hitting Weeden during a late slide.

A Von Miller sack on Weeden forced a 4th-and-long and the Browns were forced to settle for a 53-yard Phil Dawson field-goal attempt. Dawson nailed it to bring the Browns within eight.

After the Browns settled for another field goal, the Broncos took their opening-half possession 91 yards on 12 plays. Manning hit Eric Decker for the second time on an 8-yard TD connection.

The first scoring of the fourth quarter came after Josh Cribbs muffed a punt. Manning took a shot for the end zone on the ensuing play and Buster Skrine interfered, giving the Broncos the football on the 2-yard line. Jacob Hester ran it in two plays later to officially put this game out of reach for the Browns.

After some early struggles, Colt McCoy settled in and got into a rhythm and drove the Browns down the field to put six points on the board. He connected with Greg Little on a 6-yard TD completion to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive.

Cleveland will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in Week 17. The Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs with their Week 16 loss to the playoff-bound Cincinnati Bengals.

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